Movie Reviews Reviews of new movies, classic and art films, foreign films, and popular movies. Featuring Bob Mondello, Kenneth Turan, David Edelstein, and Mark Jenkins.

Movie Reviews

Hot For Teacher: Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks, right) woos his public speaking professor (Julia Roberts) in the midst of restarting his life after being laid off. Despite Roberts' lively performance, the film lacks enough emotional honesty to feel like an open reflection of current economic times. Bruce Talamon/Universal Studios hide caption

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Bruce Talamon/Universal Studios

Wine And Dine: There's more than meets the eye to Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce), who only seems like he's throwing a large dinner party. Whatever fun there is to be had in this overstuffed film comes from Pierce's outrageous hallucinations. Magnolia Pictures hide caption

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Magnolia Pictures

Pajama Party: Terri (Jacob Wysocki) drifts through empty school days in his sleepwear until Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly) decides to take him under his wing. The film adeptly mines humor from a protagonist who wanders around the fringes of a dissatisfying life. ATO Pictures hide caption

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ATO Pictures

Another Run: Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) flees from evil killer space robots yet again in the "stupendous piece of blockbusting" that is the latest installment of the Transformers franchise. Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount Pictures hide caption

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Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount Pictures

Viorel (Cristi Puiu), a divorced, bitter malcontent, is plotting to turn his simmering rage into action. The film depicts his arduous preparations in a stately, unhurried manner, using long takes and shots framed at a distance. Cinema Guild hide caption

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Cinema Guild

Need A Lift?: In the humble but happy Larry Crowne, Tom Hanks is a middle-aged salesman who goes back to college, where he enrolls in a class taught by Mercedes Tainot (Julia Roberts). Bruce Talamon/Universal Studios hide caption

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Bruce Talamon/Universal Studios

Middle-school "educator" Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) favors short skirts and stilettos — and enlists her students to hold a car wash raising funds for her breast implants. Gemma LaMana/Sony Pictures hide caption

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Gemma LaMana/Sony Pictures

Class Is Dismissed: 'Bad Teacher' Is Crude, But Fun

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It Gets Better: Luis (José Julián, left) and his father Carlos (Demián Bichir) have a contentious relationship, as the son flirts with street gangs while his dad works long hours as an undocumented laborer. The film depicts their story with only the occasional lapse into heavy-handedness. Merrick Morton/Summit Entertainment hide caption

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Merrick Morton/Summit Entertainment

Missed A Spot: Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, an acid-tongued middle school teacher trying to raise $10,000 for rich-male-baiting breast implants. Without any redeeming qualities beneath her sneering exterior, Elizabeth remains a surface-level offender. Gemma LaMana/Sony Pictures hide caption

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Gemma LaMana/Sony Pictures

Play It Again, Conan: Through 42 shows in 30 cities, Conan O'Brien tried to do it all on his "Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour." As the cameras capture in riveting detail, O'Brien's greatest enemy is his own eagerness to please. Abramorama hide caption

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Abramorama

Enter Sandmen: Musical performances make up the bulk of Passione, and director John Turturro often can't resist getting in on the action. Max Casella (from left), Fiorello, an unnamed dancer and Turturro search for Neapolitan oil in the song "Caravan Petrol." Beta Cinema hide caption

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Beta Cinema
Criterion

Like Gilbert And Sullivan? You'll Love These DVDs

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As a child, Buck Brannaman was badly abused by his father. Cindy Meehl's documentary, Buck, tells the story of how Brannaman overcame his troubled childhood and become the inspiration for the book and movie The Horse Whisperer. Emily Knight/IFC Films hide caption

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Emily Knight/IFC Films

Paper Tigers? Employees of The New York Times occupy a prominent perch in the journalism world — but in the year chronicled in Andrew Rossi's Page One, they and the Gray Lady both face how precarious the heights can be. Magnolia Pictures hide caption

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Magnolia Pictures

'Page One': The 'Times,' A-Changing On All Fronts

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Stomp The Yards: Graphic designer Daniel Goldstein turned neighborhood rabble-rouser to take on Brooklyn's proposed Atlantic Yards project, which would have demolished his condo to make room for 16 skyscrapers and a new basketball arena. Tracy Collins/Rumur hide caption

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Tracy Collins/Rumur